New Delhi (CBCI News): Black Day was observed in New Delhi on 9th August 2013 from 4 pm to 5 pm in front of the Sacred Heart Church. Most Rev. Anil Couto, Archbishop of Delhi and Regional chairperson for commission for SC/OBC presided over the program. Dr. Alwan Masih the General secretary of Church of North India(CNI) synod, Advocate Mushtaque Ahmed,Hafeez Ahmad Hawari, National President, All India Jamiatul Hawareen, bishops, priests, pastors, nuns Christian and Muslim leaders participated in the demonstration and expressed their solidarity with the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. Dalit Christian and Dalit Muslim Volunteers demonstrated half naked with black flag. Slogans were raised to demand UPA to resolve the issue and reply to the Supreme Court. The event was organized by Fr. Z. Devasagayaraj, Secretary, SC/BC of CBCI, Mr. Samuel Jayakumar, Executive Secretary, NCCI, Mr. Franklin Caesar Thomas,National Coordinator, NCDC
The press statement released on the occasion is as follows.
The Constitution (Scheduled Caste) order 1950 was signed on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India which says that “No person who professes a religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the Scheduled Caste” which was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste net. This order is against the Secular nature (Preamble of the Constitution) of the country, against Article 14(Equality before the law), against article 15(prohibition of discrimination of any citizen on ground of only religion), Article 25 (Freedom of Conscience and free to profess any religion), Article 26 (equality before the law and equal protection of the law) and against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party.
That is why the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims observe August 10th as Black Day throughout India. Civil Writ petition 180/2004 in the Honorable Supreme Court of India praying the deletion of paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) order 1950 is still pending in the Supreme Court of India for the past nine years since the UPA Government is not replying to the Supreme Court. Thus Constitutional rights for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims are denied based on religion for more than 63 years.
Different commissions appointed by the Government have clearly recommended that Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims should be included in the Scheduled Caste list.
The National commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) popularly known as Justice Ranganath Misra Commission’s Report says the following.
"In view of what has been said above, we recommend that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) order 1950, which originally restricted the scheduled caste net to the Hindus and later opened it to Sikhs and Buddhists, thus still excluding from its purview the Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis etc – should be wholly deleted by appropriate action so as to completely de-link the scheduled caste status from religion and make the scheduled castes net fully religion – neutral like that of the Scheduled Tribes”.
The national Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has recommended that Scheduled Caste status must be extended to the Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin. The National Commission for Minorities too has given its consent.
Till now twelve State Governments and Union Territories have recommended to Union of India for granting SC status to these people. The Bihar State Assembly, Uttar Pradesh State Assembly and Andhra Pradesh state Assembly have passed resolution for granting SC status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the years 2000, 2006 and 2009 respectively.
Most of the National and Regional political parties have supported the demand of Scheduled Caste status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin by writing letters to the Prime Minister and concerned authorities.
We are sorry that the rights of the minority communities of Scheduled caste origin is denied and delayed for many years. Our peaceful and democratic demonstrations will continue till our rights are attained.
• The Union Government should come forward to resolve the issue immediately without further delay.
• The union Government should give appropriate answer to the query of the Supreme Court based on the recommendation of Justice Ranganath Misra Commission’s report.